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Why Waterproof Your Chimney?

Your chimney is extremely important for your health, comfort, and safety through the winter. It vents harmful gases from the home, keeps you warm, and prevents fire by providing ventilation. Since your chimney is designed to withstand the heat and abuse of a fire, there aren’t many things that can damage it. However, once it becomes damaged, it can become extensive rather quickly.

There are primarily three factors that cause damage to your chimney:

  1. Normal wear and tear over time.
  2. Failing to provide adequate routine maintenance.
  3. Water penetration.
  4. The third, and most devastating, can be prevented by addressing the first two.

Prevention is Key

Preventative maintenance can mean a wide variety of things, depending on the topic. However, for chimneys it is very specific and often simple. Schedule routine maintenance. Therefore, schedule chimney sweeps and inspections NOW! This saves you in costly repairs and insurance claims later. It’s at these important appointments that a chimney problem will be caught. Thus, keeping you from having a bigger problem – like a leak!

Water Penetration and Chimney Damage

Masonry is constructed of a variety of materials, all of which are adversely affected by water. In short, moisture penetration can halt your chimney’s operations completely if it isn’t caught, repaired, and prevented.

Common water damage includes:

  • Rusted damper assemblies, fireplace accessories, and glass doors
  • Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies and central heating systems
  • Rotting wood, ruined walls, ceiling leaks
  • Clogged clean-out area
  • Stained masonry, exterior chimney, hearth, and walls
  • Decayed and spalling masonry
  • Collapsed hearth support
  • Chimney settlement

Consequently, if a chimney leak isn’t caught and dealt with, a fireplace and chimney may need a complete rebuild. Which, in addition, takes time and can be expensive. With extensive damage to the system, your chimney may not pass an inspection and shouldn’t be used until it’s repaired.

Thankfully, this can all be avoided with some additional precautionary measures.

Professional Waterproofing

At Bulldog Chimney Sweeps we specialize in chimney waterproofing and any of our expert chimney sweeps can help you determine which measures are right for you. Unlike most amateurs in the field, we don’t just fix the damage every few months, we correct the problem at it’s source to prevent recurring damage. The first step is repairing damage that might have already occurred. Once damage is assessed and repaired we can do several things to prevent water penetration.

  1. We can apply an industrial water repellent to seal your masonry. This is not something you can buy and apply yourself. This is a vapor-permeable sealant which allows vapors to escape, but keeps water particles out.
  2. We can also apply a water-repelling coat to the chimney crown, providing a durable and waterproof membrane that will prevent water from seeping into cracks in the chimney crown.
  3. We check your chimney’s flashing, which is a common point of water penetration. Oftentimes flashing is applied by a homeowner or a roofer who might not have experience with flashing.
  4. We not only apply and repair flashing, but we can also apply a waterproofing product to the flashing, giving it added protection so it can do its job.

Hiring a certified chimney sweep is the best way to prevent costly water damage later. If you’re not sure your chimney is ready to withstand February snow or spring rains, call Bulldog Chimney Sweeps today or request an appointment online.